TEACHINGS




“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32)




IN THE MONTH OF JULY WE AMERICANS CELEBRATE OUR FREEDOM. UNFORTUNATELY, WHILE WE ARE ALL CELEBRATING, THERE ARE MANY AMERICANS AND IMMIGRANTS ALIKE WHO ARE STILL IN SOME FORM OF BONDAGE. I WANT TO SHARE A WORD OF HOPE TO THOSE FOLKS THAT ARE IN A STATE OF MENTAL TORMENT, FEAR, JEALOUSY, HATRED, SELF-PITY, DEPRESSION, OR ANY OTHER FORM OF BONDAGE.



FIRST, LET’S MAKE SURE WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE, UNDERSTANDING THE DEFINITIONS OF BONDAGE. WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY STATES THAT BONDAGE IS SLAVERY OR INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE, CAPTIVITY, IMPRISONMENT, RESTRAINT OF A PERSON’S LIBERTY BY COMPULSION. THE APOSTLE PAUL TELLS US THERE ARE TWO MAIN CAUSES FOR MAN’S INNER-PROBLEMS, “THE FLESH” OR “OLD MAN” AND EVIL SPIRITS. THE REMEDIES PROVIDED IN SCRIPTURE FOR BOTH ARE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT.



THE SCRIPTURAL REMEDY FOR FLESHLY BONDAGE IS COMPLETE SURRENDER TO JESUS (ROM 6:6-11; GAL 5:24). AND, FOR EVIL SPIRITS, THEY MUST BE CAST OUT (MIC 5:8, 16-17).



THEY ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE WITH EACH OTHER. BY THAT I MEAN THAT YOU CAN’T CAST OUT A MAN’S “STINKING THINKING.” WE ARE HUMAN AND BECAUSE OF THAT FACT WE HAVE LEARNED FROM ADAM AND EVE HOW TO SHIFT THE BLAME OFF OF OURSELVES AND PROJECT IT ONTO SOMEONE ELSE, AS CHRISTIANS WE TEND TO BLAME SATAN FOR A LOT OF THINGS HE DIDN’T DO. (COMEDIAN FLIP WILSON’S CHARACTER GERALDINE COINED THE PHRASE “THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT.”) (JAMES 1:12-14).



SATAN HAS LIMITATIONS, HE IS A CREATION NOT A CREATOR (COL 1:16), HE DOESN’T HAVE ALL KNOWLEDGE (1 COR 2:8), AND SINCE HIS ATTACKS ARE LIMITED TO THE “POWER OF SUGGESTION” THEN WE MUST ASSUME HIS CONTACT WITH A BELIEVER IS ONLY THROUGH OUR OLD, NATURE. HE CAN ONLY CONTROL US BY PERMISSION OR INDIVIDUAL SURRENDER TO HIM. HE ONLY DEALS WITH US IN OUR INTELLECT AND EMOTIONS OF OUR OLD NATURE (2 COR 4:8-10, 16-18).



SO HOW HAS HE BOUND US UP YOU ASK? WELL, ALLOW ME TO SHARE WITH YOU ABOUT ONE GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE. ACTUALLY THIS MAN WAS A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART. HIS NAME WAS KING DAVID. IN 2 SAM 11, IT LAYS OUT THE STORY OF KING DAVID COMMITTING ADULTERY. FIRST DAVID SAW A WOMAN AND THEN LUSTED AFTER HER, THEN HE COMMITTED ADULTERY. FIRST WE THINK, THEN WE FEEL, THEN WE ACT ON THOSE FEELINGS.



WHAT I’M TRYING TO GET YOU TO SEE IS THE WAY YOU THINK ALWAYS DETERMINES THE WAY YOU FEEL AND THE WAY YOU FEEL DETERMINES THE WAY YOU ACT. KING DAVID HAD AN ATTITUDE OF VULGAR AND IMMORAL THINKING. HE DID NOT CONTROL HIS MIND, INSTEAD, HE ALLOWED HIS MIND TO CONTROL HIS THOUGHTS AND THEN HIS ACTIONS. PROVERBS 23:7 STATES AS A MAN THINKS IN HIS HEART, SO IS HE.



NEGATIVE FEELINGS ARE AN OUTCOME OF NEGATIVE THOUGHTS. THEY HAVE BECOME A LIFESTYLE FOR MANY OF US AND WE DON’T EVEN REALIZE WE’VE BECOME CONDITIONED TO THINK NEGATIVELY AND THEN TO REACT IN CERTAIN WAYS. THIS IS THE WORST KIND OF BONDAGE BECAUSE IT IS TRULY THE HARDEST TO SEE, BECAUSE IT HAS BECOME A PART OF US AT THE DEEPEST LEVEL OF OUR MIND.



BUT WAIT, THERE IS GOOD NEWS! ABSOLUTELY, THE GREATEST MIRACLE GOD PERFORMS IS THE RENEWING OF THE MIND! HE, WITH OUR HELP, CAN REPROGRAM THE MOST COMPLEX COMPUTER TO DATE: OUR MIND. HOW IS THIS DONE? VERY SIMPLY. FIRST, RECEIVE AND EMBRACE JESUS CHRIST. SECOND, RELEASE THE HOLY SPIRIT TO SHOW YOU THE THOUGHTS OF YOUR OLD SELF THAT ARE IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH GOD’S WORD AND THEN CONFESS YOUR SINS TO GOD AND ASK FOR HELP IN CHANGING YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, REPENT.